New version of BEEST

Posted by on Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 in Newsletters
What’s Happening Now

EPA News

12th Conference on Air Quality Models – EPA has scheduled the 12th Conference on Air Quality Models for October 2‑3, 2019 in Research Triangle Park, NC at the EPA campus. This triennial Clean Air Act-mandated conference will provide the opportunity for public input to EPA’s ongoing model and modeling guidance development. Expect to see the official Federal Register notice on this conference in August. In the meantime, keep watching SCRAM ( for updates.

AERMOD Development Webpage – EPA has created a new webpage on SCRAM called AERMOD Modeling System Development. This webpage will serve the user community as a place where we can keep up with near-term and longer-term enhancements to AERMOD, AERMET, AERMAP, etc. You will also be able to keep up with the various AERMOD white papers. Visit to learn more.

New AERMOD coming soon! – Speaking of AERMOD, EPA has stated that we can expect to see a new version of it to be released soon. Some updates in the new version will include:

  • A new LOWWIND alpha (experimental) option
  • A new Tier 2 NO2 option (also alpha)
  • A new RLINE line source option (not sure if it will be alpha or beta)
  • Two new building downwash alpha options – PRIME2 and PRIMEORD
  • Bug fixes related to buoyant line source algorithm and AERMET

EPA’s goal is to have the new version out well in advance of the 12th Conference on Air Quality Models, so releasing it mid to late summer will give us all plenty of time to get familiar with it.

As always, as soon as this new version of AERMOD is released, we will incorporate it into BEEST.

Conferences and Workshops

Air & Waste Management Association

**New Source Review Workshop Manual** – If you do New Source Review air permitting (and/or modeling), please note that AWMA’s New Source Review Manual is now available! This new version is available online in an interactive, hyperlinked and searchable format. It covers all the big NSR-related topics, such as PSD / nonattainment applicability, BACT, air quality analysis, and modeling. Check here for details.

**HOT** AMWA Louisiana Section Annual Conference – The Louisiana Section of AWMA will be holding their annual conference October 16‑17, 2019 at the L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge, LA. For more on registration, sponsor or exhibitor information, click here.

If your company, organization, agency, State, etc. has an upcoming modeling or air quality-related event and you’d like it publicized in Providence/Oris Notes, please send that information to us at, and we’ll be happy to include it.

Simply the Best!


BEEST 11.14 is now out and includes these updates:

  • Ability to delete receptors, sources, buildings, and tanks within an irregularly shaped polygon
  • Three options for creating sloped roof structures
  • Enhanced on-screen editing options for buildings
  • QA checks when creating output ranks and creating AUTO source groups
  • A right-click option in Show Current Data Graphically to convert grid receptors to discrete receptors
  • The Terrain Files Converter program!

Terrain Files Converter allows you to convert the ArcGrid-formatted NED data to GeoTIFF format in an easy, painless manner! (Remember, AERMAP can only read GeoTIFF.) This is more important now because the website used by BEEST to automatically download the NED data ( no longer has NED data in GeoTIFF format. For more on Terrain Files Converter, check out this month’s Modeling Tip of the Month.

A webinar about the new features in BEEST 11.14 will be presented on August 8, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. CDT. Click here to sign up for the webinar.

As always, users in maintenance can download the most recent version of BEEST from Support → Software Updates.

“Go BEEST Mode!” — What? You still don’t have your own “Go BEEST Mode” t-shirt? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty left – so email your request to and receive your very own “Go BEEST Mode” T-shirt! You’ll be the envy of modelers everywhere!

AerScreen for Windows

Since AerScreen for Windows uses both AERMOD and AERMAP, we released AerScreen for Windows 3.06 on May 31, 2018. This new version fully supports AERMOD 18081 and AERMAP 18081.

Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of AerScreen for Windows from Support → Software Updates.

Professional CalPuff

Our most recent version of Professional CalPuff (4.00) was released on August 26, 2016 and is available to all registered users with current maintenance.

Users in maintenance can download the most recent version of Professional CalPuff from Support → Software Updates.


AERMOD Wizard is here! We think that this handy tool will be a game changer and so will you! Imagine being able to download ambient monitoring data and creating a temporally-varying (e.g. HROFDY, SEASHR) AERMOD-ready background file with just a few clicks! Or what about being able to do multiple Class I area Q/D analyses with just a few clicks? Or building wind roses and/or pollutant roses and be able to export them to Google Earth – also with just a few clicks?

AERMOD Wizard 1.01 was released on June 24, 2019 and it includes the capability to do backward and forward trajectories – and these trajectories can also be exported to Google Earth. Check AERMOD Wizard out here and get your own copy!

We presented a webinar on AERMOD Wizard 1.01 on July 9, 2019. Click here to view the video for the webinar.

*We’re off to see the Wizard!*

If you have suggestions for an enhancement to any of our modeling software products, please let us know and we’ll do our best to incorporate it into the software ASAP!

Modeling Tip of the Month

We’re taking a one-month break from our AERMOD Wizard-based modeling tips to talk about our new Terrain Files Converter utility. As you know, the AERMAP processor can only read National Elevation Dataset (NED) data that’s in the GeoTIFF format. However, the USGS has recently removed NED data in GeoTIFF format from several (if not all) of its data download sites. Back in December 2018, EPA released guidance on how to convert the NED data in ArcGrid format to GeoTIFF format. Our new Terrain Files Converter program takes this approach and makes it quick and easy to covert data from ArcGrid to GeoTIFF.

Terrain Files Converter uses the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) to convert downloaded ArcGrid-format data to GeoTIFF-format. So, the first thing you’ll need to do is download the GDAL files to your computer. The download site is After you download this zipped file, extract/unzip it to a folder on your computer (e.g. C:\gdal).

Next, you need to access the NED data in ArcGrid format. To do that, visit On the map shown on the right-hand side of the screen, zoom in to your area of interest – the area for which you want to download elevation data. You can enter an address/location in the Search Location box, too. You can use the Draw Rectangle button found on the left-hand side of the map to draw your area of interest. Once you’ve drawn your area of interest, click Elevation Products (3DEP) and the web site will list all available terrain data for your area of interest. You will probably want to select 1 arc-second DEM or 1/3 arc-second DEM plus the ArcGrid File Format. Click Find Products, then click Download for the data file you wish to download. (Please note that, unlike the former Seamless Server and Landfire NED data, all NED data that is downloaded from the National Map Viewer is in 1‑degree by 1‑degree tiles. Therefore, the file you download will likely be much, much larger than your area of interest.) Once your data has been downloaded, you’ll want to unzip the data.

Now, you can open Terrain Files Converter to start the conversion process. After you open Terrain Files Converter, go to the Files tab. You’ll see two fields to be filled out: the folder containing the downloaded ArcGrid-formatted files and the GeoTIFF-formatted output file. For the first field, browse to the folder where you downloaded the ArcGrid files – you will want to select the subfolder that begins with “grd”. For the second field, just name it what you want the output file to be – Terrain Files Converter automatically appends the “tif” extension. Then go to the Run tab and click the Run button. Once this is done and Terrain Files Converter creates your NED file in GeoTIFF format, you can now run AERMAP just like you did before!

“Our expertise is contagious. Catch it!”

AERMOD Modeling for Permits

**We’re going back on the road!** That’s right, our next scheduled AERMOD Modeling for Permits class for 2019 will be August 20‑21 in Denver, Colorado. Register today and plan to join us in the Mile-High City! After all, who wouldn’t want to go visit Denver in the summer? Click here to register!

Advanced AERMOD

Similarly, our next scheduled Advanced AERMOD class for 2019 is going to be August 22‑23, also in Denver.

Advanced AERMOD covers those topics that are near and dear to modelers, such as:

  • NAAQS modeling for 1-hour NO2, 1-hour SO2 and 24-hour PM2.5 (including MaxDCont Viewer)
  • Meteorological data processing with AERMET / AERMINUTE / AERSURFACE
  • Changes related to the new Appendix W (Guideline on Air Quality Models)
  • MAXIFILE and ARRAY2 processing
  • AERMOD alpha options, such as PSDCREDIT
  • AERMOD Wizard and its uses

Click here to register!

2019 Class Schedule

Here’s our current list of the rest of our scheduled AERMOD classes for 2019:

Class Dates
AERMOD Modeling for Permits December 3 – 4
Advanced AERMOD December 5 – 6


**Don’t forget, if our schedule of classes doesn’t mesh with your schedule, or if you have several people that need to be trained at once, contact us about setting up an on-site class. Have laptop, will travel!**


**BeestXpress has been upgraded to run AERMOD 18081**

In addition, BeestXpress users have some great system enhancements to work with:

  • The “Job Details” webpage now displays the pollutant being modeled;
  • The “Job Details” webpage now displays run progress for MAXDCONT calculations;
  • Modeling runs with multiple partitions now include a combined AERMOD input file (*.DTA) in the output .ZIP file;
  • Added an option to the “Submit Job” webpage that affects modeling runs with multiple partitions: the intermediate output files created by each partition can be omitted from the output .ZIP file
  • The “Job Search” webpage now includes the option to search by project number
  • Users have access to up to 50 partitions per AERMOD run

To date, BeestXpress has processed over 300,000 AERMOD runs. Wow!

If you’ve never used BeestXpress, or it has been a while since you did, you may want to log on at to take advantage of our AERMOD “force multiplier”. That AERMOD run that might have taken a day to run on your desktop computer can finish in an hour or less on BeestXpress. When time is money, BeestXpress is the best modeling return on investment there is!

Meteorological Data Processing Services

Do you need AERMOD-ready or CalPuff-ready meteorological data? If so, we can help! Whether it’s running the AERMET / AERMINUTE system or a full CalMet run, Providence has the background, know-how, and experience to have your data processed and ready for you ASAP. Need on-site data processed? We do that, too! If you’d like more information, contact us at or

Consulting Solutions

One thing that we’re very proud of is the depth and range of our modeling experience and expertise. The kinds of air quality models we’ve used include all types, ranging from simple screening tools like SCREEN3 and AERSCREEN to plume models like ISC and AERMOD to CalPuff to CAMx. The types of analyses included basic Significant Impact Level, NAAQS, PSD increment consumption, Class I analyses, air toxics, and SIP attainment demonstrations. Most recently, we have begun conducting nonattainment permit inter-pollutant trading (NOx for VOC) modeling using CAMx. So, we’ve seen it all. To that end, should you or your clients need additional modeling assistance or just a second set of eyes to QA or peer review your modeling (ranging from initial protocol up to final submission), we stand ready to help. Feel free to contact us at (512) 258-8855 or



Calendar separator

August 20-21, 2019
AERMOD Modeling for Permits
Denver, CO

August 22-23, 2019
Advanced AERMOD
Denver, CO

October 2-3, 2019
12th Conference on Air Quality Models
Research Triangle Park, NC

October 8-10, 2019
TCEQ Autumn Environmental Conference and Expo
Austin, TX

October 16-17, 2019
AWMA Louisiana Section Annual Conference
Baton Rouge, LA

Our complete class schedule can be found at